United Way honors IP

Published 4:04 am Wednesday, July 5, 2017

International Paper was the winner of a prestigious award on June 28, during the annual meeting for the United Way of Southeast Louisiana in New Orleans.

IP received the Live United Award for Large Company of the Year, as the company was recognized for its efforts during the 2016 United Way employee campaign. IP was also praised for the special events it held throughout the year in conjunction with the regular employee campaign.

Bernie Chascin, IP plant manager, and Kalisa Hyman, IP communications director, accepted the award on behalf of the company.

The organization explained IP’s criteria on its website, as follows:

“The winner of the Live United Award for a large company has the Fifth Highest Campaign Among Largest Companies, with an increase of $17,000 in Unrestricted Revenue. The head of this organization serves on the Washington Parish Leadership Council, and coordinated additional presentations with the Local Steel Workers union Employees. This organization sponsored the Washington Parish Kick-Off Luncheon and the Washington Parish Leadership Council Holiday Lunch Meeting, as well as the installation of a Born Learning Trail in Bogalusa, and it engages its staff in regular Volunteer Participation. They also host an annual Charity Golf Tournament, with United Way receiving all event proceeds.”

The annual meeting was an opportunity to review the United Way’s “Blueprint for Prosperity,” which launched in June 2016. The campaign’s goal was to eradicate poverty in southeast Louisiana.

“We know that this is an ambitious goal, and that’s why we outlined a plan to build collaborations with service and funding partners around the key issues that impact our families living in poverty: high quality education; safer communities; access to quality, affordable healthcare; and pathways to high-wage, high-demand jobs,” United Way officials stated in a press release. “We’ve also honed our program investment strategy to align around measurable indicators that will move the needle on poverty, and our legislative agenda also directly aligns with these same issues.

“We are investing in programs and collaborations that address issues of mental and physical wellness, income and employment, and education. We advocate for policy that builds safer and healthier communities, and brings necessary funds into our region.”

According to the organization, the United Way of Southeast Louisiana invested in 88 programs, and seven collaborative partnerships to fight poverty during the 2016 campaign. Among other aspects of the campaign:

  • Approximately 233,000 people were served through funded agencies.
  • Approximately 39,000 people were served through United Way’s own internal programs and initiatives.
  • Approximately $18 million was put back into the hands of individuals in the community through United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, which also includes the Earned Income Tax Credit and the School Readiness Tax Credit, both of which United Way advocates for as part of its annual Public Policy agenda.
  • Approximately $320,000 in Emergency Food and Shelter Protection grants was distributed via United Way in partnership with the Federal Emergency Food and Shelter Program.
  • Approximately $800,000 was saved by individuals on their prescription drug costs through United Way’s FamilyWize Community Service Partnership.
  • Approximately $4.4 million in purchases were made for assets such as homes, automobiles, secondary education and small businesses through United Way’s Individual Development Account Project, funded by Entergy, Assets for Family Independence and other partners.

In 2016 alone, United Way of Southeast Louisiana leveraged the collective generosity of donors throughout the region and delivered a total of $23.5 million in service value back to the members of the communities it serves.